tv John King USA CNN December 27, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
videos, and he adds dialogue. >> wow. >> reporter: andrew wouldn't say how much his advertising partnership with youtube pays. but clark the dog now has a facebook fan page with a joke bacon tree and a bacon t-shirt. and if you're wondering -- >> you're kidding me. >> reporter: -- what he really said in dog speak. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> tomorrow i'll speak with mitt romney, his wife ann, their son josh, a rare chance to meet the family tomorrow here in "the situation room," 4:00 p.m. eastern. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. thanks for joining us. i'm jessica yellin. john king is off tonight. you'll see it here first. mitt romney's campaign responds to newt gingrich's cnn interview and his accusation that romney does not have the courage to debate one-on-one or defend his
campaign's negative ads. also -- gingrich says he won't vote for ron paul if the texas congressman wins the republican nomination. plus -- a frightening day at country's biggest shopping mall and nothing to keep from happening the a mall near you. first in iowa, the skating criticism newt gingrich levelled at two of his republican opponents, mitt romney and ron paul. just a short time ago wolf blitzer asked gingrich about the barrage of attack ads both romney and paul are running in iowa. republican voters caucus exactly one week from tonight. listen to some of what newt gingrich had to say about mitt romney. >> mitt romney made fun of you today. i don't know if you heard. >> no. >> about the virginia snafu and all of that. i'll play the clip, watch this. >> okay. >> you know, i -- i think you compare that to pearl harbor. i think it's more like lucille
ball at the chocolate factory. so i mean, you've got to get it organized. >> he was referring to a statement that your campaign manager said this was like pearl harbor. you've learned from it and it's not going to happen again. he's comparing you to lose seal ball. >> i have a simple message for mitt romney. i'll meet him anywhere in iowa for 90 minutes just the two of us in a debate with the time keeper and no moderator. i'd love to have him say that to my face. i'd like him to have courage to back up the negative ads and the things his staff has been putting out. he wants to prove he can debate barack obama, he ought to have the courage to stand on the same stage with me. he's buying millions of dollars in attack ads through a phony super pac run by his former staff, paid for by his millionaire friends. i'd like him to have the courage to be on the same stage and defend his ads and explain his record as a moderate in
massachusetts, explain his record of raising taxes, explain his record of paying for abortions through state money, explain his record of putting planned parenthood on and, frankly, explain why he wasn't a job-creating governor and his current plan is much weaker than mine. so i'd like to debate the gingrich supply side conservative economic plan versus the romney moderate plan which is much weaker in job creation. and i'm happy for him to have fun at a distance but i'd like to invite him to spend 90 minutes debating face-to-face. >> a dozen debates, he's been on the stage with you so far. standing on some of the debates close to you. >> herman cain was willing to debate one-on-one, jon huntsman has debated one-on-one, rick santorum debated one-on-one. mitt romney is the guy running the most ads attacking me, doing it through the, gee, i don't control all of my former staff and my millionaire friends. it's balogna. if he wants to defend his negativity, show up in iowa 90 minutes face-to-face, let the
people decide whether or not he'll back up what he's been saying and let him back up his moderate record, not conservative record, as governor. and i don't think he'll do it. >> 24 hours from now, i'm going to be interviewing mitt romney. >> ask him why he won't debate me. >> i will ask him that question. anything you want to say to him, look into the camera right now, and talk to -- he might be watching, for all i know. he's in iowa. we're in iowa. >> he'll certainly see the video. mitt if you want to run a negative campaign and attack people, at least be man enough to own it, that's your staff and that's your organization, those are your millionaire friends paying for it and let's be clear, i am willing to fight for real job creation with a real reagan camp style job creation program. you are a moderate massachusetts republican who, in fact, is very timid about job creation. let's get it on together and let's cpare our two plans. >> i'll play that clip for him tomorrow here. >> good. >> we'll get his reaction.
that's only fair. >> a lot to go over there. a campaign strategist from mitt romney joins me for reaction. the latest news from the romney camp. russ, first of all, welcome. it sounded to me like -- >> hi. >> it sounds like newt gingrich challenged the former governor to a showdown at the okay corral. so first of all, will the governor agree to a one-on-one debate with newt gingrich? >> well, let's take a step back for a second, jessica. it was a drive-by shooting there. i mean i'm not sure if this is was the happy warrior newt gingrich sort of candidate who is lashing out because he's had a bad week. he's had sinking poll numbers across the country. he wasn't able to make the ballot in virginia. he's had to cancel half of his schedule in iowa this week. he's gone from 44 events to 22 events and he's lashing out in a way that you know really shows he doesn't have a real campaign message other than he doesn't like the campaign ads being
shown. >> he did start by vowing to be positive and -- >> was that positive? >> we'll let the voters decide. will you answer that first question? will mitt romney debate newt gingrich one-on-one before the iowa caucuses? >> we have debated newt gingrich at least ten times. we're going to be debating him twice more in new hampshire. you know, governor romney believes you know very strongly that he needs to debate all 0 the candidates that everyone has a father shot and newt gingrich just isn't special that should have a one-on-one debate. >> let's me ask you about this question of negative and negative ads. newt gingrich basically told your candidate to be man enough to own the negative ads from his super pac and that he should tell them not to go negative. he says that wouldn' be coordination. but we all know that it's illegal to actually tell a pac what to do. is that something that romney would do?
>> well, you know, again, speaker gingrich is being d disingenuo disingenuous because there's plenty of times he been on the record including cnn talking about negative ads and talking about them, a, working and talks about your own anchors have said newt gingrich, quote, happy to rip someone's heart out. i think the problem here is not that he doesn't like these ads he just doesn't like when these ads are running against him. and i think that's a big difference. >> let's talk about the word moderate, which gingrich mentioned several time. quoting old video, we can play that video for you. it was romney in 2002. >> sure. >> i think people recognize that i'm not a partisan republican, that i'm someone who is moderate and that my views are progressive. >> isn't it a fair character san die izationen when the former before used the word moderate to describe himself? >> governor romney was running
for governor of massachusetts as we all know it's one of the most bluest states in the country. when he was governor of massachusetts he governor earned as a conservative. cut taxes, balances the budget, turned a deficit into a surplus and he was pro-life. he's been very conservative. he's the first to admit that, you know, over time, has mitt romney become more conservative? absolutely. the problem is, jessica, is that newt gingrich, the longer he's been in washington, he's become more liberal. he's the guy who sat on the couch with nancy pelosi at the invitation of al gore. he's the guy who threw the paul ryan medicare reform plan under the bus calling it right wing social engineering. i think the problem is, yes, governor romney governed as a conservative and speaker gingrich is someone moving to the left. >> i think we'll hear more of this when your candidate, mitt romney, sits down with wolf blitzer tomorrow for an interview of his own. we all look forward to watching that. russ, thanks for joining us
tonight. >> great. thank you. >> ahead, you'll want to stay with us. we'll have much more of wolf blitzer's interview with republican presidential hopeful newt gingrich, including gingrich's threat to not vote for ron paul if the texas congressman wins the republican nomination. >> i think barack obama is very destructive to the future of the united states. i think ron paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent american. >> also ahead, the huge and growing gap between your bank account and one of the congressman or woman who is supposed to be representing you. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card.
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has he been here this whole time? there's huge political news in iowa, where newt gingrich just told cnn he won't vote for ron paul if the texas congressman wins the republican nomination. that's just part of the scathing criticism gingrich let loose during an interview with cnn's wolf blitzer. listen to wha else gingrich said about congressman paul. >> people won't take him as a serious person. this is a man who happened to have had a good cause, auditing the federal reserve, cleaning up the federal reserve. and i think, as a protest, he's
a very reasonable candidate. as a potential president, a person who thinks the united states was responsible for 9/11, a person who believes -- who wrote in his newsletter that the world trade center bombing in '93 might have been a cia plot a person who believes it doesn't matter if the i rhiranians does have an nuclear weapon. look at ron paul's record of systemic avoidance of reality and look at his newsletters and ads, his ads are as accurate as his newsletters. >> if he were to get the republican nomination -- >> he won't. >> say he were. could you vote for him? >> no. >> will this interview be a game changer in iowa? joined in iowa by david chalian, washington bureau chief for yahoo! news and with me here dana bash. i want to start with you, dana, you have a statement fresh from the paul campaign reacting to the interview. >> hot off the presses. this comes to us thanks to paul
steinhauser, the chairman of ron paul's campaign says, frustration from his floundering campaign has newt gingrich showing who he is, a divisive, big government liberal. another quote here, insert tongue in cheek here if dr. paul will have to soldier on without newt's vote, so be it. ron has the support of countless conservatives and independents ready to beat barack obama and bring real change and it goes on and on along the same lines. blunt from ron paul, not a surprise there. i can tell you, jessica, that newt gingrich said out loud what a lot of ron paul's colleagues in congress would not say out loud but whispering, they can't imagine him as their nominee. of course newt gingrich needs to get voters in iowa to get out to the caucuses and trashing ron paul at this time in that way may not be the best idea. >> not the best idea. david, listen, this is a candidate who said time and again, gingrich, that he will not go negative. obviously there's bad blood
between ron paul and newt gingrich. but how surprised are you at the tone gingrich took in this interview? >> well, i was quite surprised, jessica, just in the sense of what you're saying. a guy pledging to run a positive campaign all the way through. while i was watching the interview, i e-mailed the gingrich campaign and said, is this a new strategy you have unloaded on ron paul here? and they said, no, no, no, gingrich has always said he's going to speak truth to these attacks and the truth is always more potent than the attacks themselves. gingrich is going negative on pall and it's a different calculation than mitt romney is making. mitt romney doesn't mind ron paul doing well because he thinks it only helps him going forward if someone is not seen as likely to be the nominee comes out of here with a lot of momentum. newt gingrich is trying to get out of iowa, his numbers have come down and he's taking a different tact to really try to peel away support from paul. jessica, you have to ask, why if
somebody is not likely to be the nominee would you go that far to offend their supporters to not support them. >> is part of this, at the beginning of this interview with wolf, gingrich said i'm going to stay positive and then proceeded to say all of these things. part of what we've seen with gingrich historically he has a way of capturing headlines and knows when he's not doing well he -- is this whatever it takes to get in the news? >> certainly could be. it could be newt being newt and him just speaking from the heart, speaking from the gut, and saying really what he feels. i think david is right, that he has decided it's hard to imagine this wasn't a deliberate strategy very different from mitt romney's, to go after ron paul and to try to take those conservatives away from him and to remind people about elect ability. that iowans want to stay relevant, they want caucuses to stay relevant and do they want to elect somebody or vote for somebody who is not going to win
the nomination. >> supporters are going to be changed by somebody saying he has a problem with systemic avoidance of reality? >> no, there's -- i mean there's no way. boy, are those supporters of ron paul total die-hards. the question for people who aren't die-hards but like what he says on economic policy and other issues that newt gingrich could potentially sway, exactly. >> david, we heard -- gingrich saved his harshest words for ron paul but also did unload on romney as well. so who is gingrich's biggest threat, paul or romney? >> well, i think he probably is trying to steal votes from each of them right now because the latest polling shows gingrich running third to those two front-runners. i don't think any one is more of a threat than the other. in the long run he sees mitt romney as the greatest threat because mitt romney is the more likely nominee than ron paul at this stage of the game. to dana's point there, a really important one if it's just the
die-hards coming out for ron paul, that's probably not going to be enough for him. he does need some of the other mainstream republican or sort of willing republican support to come on over to him and that's exactly what newt gingrich is trying to take away from him. >> i'll do this quickly to both of you. david, you first, do you think the interview will change things up in iowa? >> well, i think it's the last we've seen of newt gingrich as trying to run a positive campaign. he is going to be on the forceful attack for the next weex and that's a game changer of itself. >> i'm trying to avoid the word game changer. >> he was giving the facts, it's not about being positive or negative, come on. anytime one of these candidates at this point in time seven days out speaks as bluntly and as candidly and as strongly as newt gingrich just did to wolf blitzer, it's going to change the dynamic and the narrative and potentially change votes. >> dana, david, thanks 0 to both of you.
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about $20,500. the new york time adds nearly half of the members of congress, 250 in all, are millionaires. both papers say the wealth gap between lawmakers and voters is growing. in syria, thousands of protesters tried to welcome international observers to homs a city that's been a hotbed of anti-government protests. security forces used tear gas and bullets to scatter protesters. one report says 39 people were ki killed. listen to what happened at the mall of america about this time yesterday afternoon. take a look here. what authorities are calling a mob of about 200 young people, started throwing chairs, knocking over shopping kiosks and fighting. panicked shopps fled the stores. at least nine people were arrested. you won't see this "people" magazine cover featuring taylor lautner along with the headline "out and proud" at the newsstand
because it is a fake. yes, it's a fake. the image bears the celebrity magazine's title logo across the top with 19-year-old lautner brooding below in a letter jacket and jeans. dated to look like a magazine. are you reps confirmed the cover is a quote absolute fake. if people start talking about this and saying, did you know? you can tell them, it's not true. >> that was a talker with the staff today because we, first i saw that and i thought, wow he came out that was bold and i heard it was a fake, right? >> russell simmons tweeted about it. first he said proud of him for coming out. >> really? >> and had to walk back and say why will people do that. >> i thought why would "people" magazine get this wrong? i realized it's an online photo shop fabrication. >> all about photo shopping. we're here to set the record straight. we have done that. >> thank you. this is on a serious note,
ahead, a deadly fire takes the life of three young girls and their grand parents. cnn's deborah feyerick has been following that story, including the 911 calls released today. and now she has new details that she's learned, next. >> 911 what's at dress. >> a huge fire at the house next door. the whole house is on fire. [ nurse ] i'm a hospice nurse. britta olsen is my patient. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta.
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king usa" 911 tapes of desperate pleas for help during a christmas day fire. the obama administration faces an agonizing decision about a man you probably don't recognize but what happens to him could give the usa a huge black eye in the middle east. plus, more from today's news making cnn interview where newt gingrich slammed fellow republicans mitt romney and ron paul. we start in iowa and the roundhouse punches newt gingrich just threw at two of his opponents. first, gingrich says, if texas congressman ron paul wins the republican nomination, he won't vote for him. listen to what gingrich told cnn's wolf blitzer. >> first of all, as people get to know more about ron paul, who disowns ten years of his own newsletter, says he didn't really realize what was in it, had no idea what he was making money on, had no idea that it was racist and anti-semitic, called for the destruction of
israel, talked about a race war, all of this is a sudden shock to ron paul, there will come a morning people won't take him as a serious problem. he happened to have a good cause, auditing the federal reserve, cleaning up the federal reserve, and i think, as a protest, he's a very reasonable candidate. as a potential president, a person who thinks the united states was responsible for 9/11, a person who believes -- who wrote in his newsletter that the world trade center bombing in '93 might have been a cia plot, a person who believes it doesn't matter if the iranians have a nuclear weapon. i'd rather say look at ron paul's total record of systemic avoidance of reality, you look at his newsletters and then you look at his ads, his ads are about as accurate as his newsletters. >> if he were to get the republican nomination -- >> he won't. >> let's say he would. could you vote for him? >> no. >> would you -- would you vote for president obama? >> somebody says i don't care if israel's destroyed, i don't care
if the iranians get a nuclear weapon. >> not sure he says israel destroyed but and he does say he didn't think iran represents a threat to israel even if it had a nuclear bomb. >> look, what he says is, that's a risk he's willing to take. and he just had one of his former staffs say flatly, that he said over and over again, israel was a mistake. i mean i think it's very difficult to see how you would engage in dealing with ron paul's anominee, given the newsletters which he has not yet disowned. >> you could not voe for ron paul -- >> he'd have to go a long way to explain himself. it would be difficult to see today ron paul as a nominee. >> what wou you do if the choice were ron paul or barack obama? >> you'd have a hard choice. >> what would you do? >> i don't know. i think barack obama is destructive to the future of the united states. i think ron paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent
american. now that's going to be very controversial but i just suggest to people, before you decide that i'm wrong, read the newsletters, look at what he said, and ask yourself, this is a very serious question for the united states, it's a very serious question -- >> you don't accept his explanation, he never read it, wrote it, only years did he look at it. >> he's attacking me for serial hypocrisy and he spent ten years earning money out of a newsletter that had his name in he didn't notice. all i'm saying he's got to come up with very straight answers to get somebody to take him seriously. would i be willing to listen to him? sure. are there circumstances you have to weigh heavily, yes. i think the choice of ron paul or barack obama would be a very bad choice for america. >> wolf blitzer joins us now from iowa. well done. an interview that has everybody talking here and in iowa. i first want to ask you, when gingrich was attacking ron paul,
what was going through your mind? did you think it was a mistake? >> i didn't know if it was a mistake but i was stunned, i was very surprised because, as you know, newt gingrich has been saying now for several weeks he's going to try to take the high road, he's going -- he's going g going to defend his positions avoid attacking the competition, he's not going with the negative attack ads, which he's getting a barrage of here in iowa. i know that goes against his grain. all of a sudden when i played a clip of one of ron paul's attack ads talking about the serial hypocrisy of newt gingrich he unloaded, as you saw in that clip right there. it took me -- it took me by surprise, i've got to tell you because i didn't think he was going to do it. but i think he was really moved, especially over the past 24, 48 hours, by this former aide to ron paul who has written this long piece describing some of ron paul's views on homosexuals,
on gays, israel, national security and all of these matters and i think that simply pushed -- that pushed newt gingrich over and he really unloaded. i was pretty surprised by it. >> well, gingrich even started your interview saying he plans to stay positive and then, as you say, proceeded to unload. not just on ron paul but on mitt romney, too. i just spoke to romney strategist russ schreiffer who called the attacks a drive-by shooting. did you expect him to be so tough on romney as well? in he tried at the beginning to stay above it not go after romney directly. it was marked contrast, i interviewed him in washington when he was in d.c. and he really didn't go after mitt romney hard at all, hardly at all. but in this interview, when i told him that romney was making fun of him earlier in the day because he couldn't get on the virginia republican primary
ballot and he brought in loucille ball and the chocolate factory if you listen to how that changed he went after him and he basically looked at the camera. i said look in the camera, speak to mitt romney right now, what would you say, and he said if you've got the guts to say to me in person what you're saying out there through these super pac ads, which the romney campaign is not directly involved with, newt gingrich doesn't buy any of that, by the way, but you know he really went after him. he wants to debate him one-on-one and he's suggesting that mitt romney's scared to debate newt gingrich. so he got into it. he got into it on mitt romney, he got into it on ron paul. he was a lot tougher on ron paul. i was going to ask him, you know, would you be able to vote for mitt romney but i didn't, the clock was ticking, and i knew he would say, yes, i would vote for mitt romney but no way
he's going to vote for ron paul. >> he made that pretty clear. >> yeah, he says, look, ron paul's not going to get the nomination. i said hypothetically if he were to get the nomination would you support him. his answer a flat-out no. >> you're interviewing mitt romney tomorrow. is there one question you're looking forward to asking romney? >> well, i'm going to play for him -- they'll have overnight, i'm sure his aides will tell him -- i'm going to play what newt gingrich said and give him a chance to respond and ask him, does he have the guts, does he have the courage to sit down one-on-one with newt gingrich and debate these issues 90 minutes without a moderator? i pointed out to newt gingrich, you know, they've had more than a dozen debates. they've been on the stage together. they've been very close to each other if not right next to each other. so they've had a lot of debates but there were six or seven or five other candidates on the stage at the same time. it would be different, obviously, one-on-one. >> we asked his campaign
strategist, he said he's had plenty of opportunity to debate gingrich on those stages. maybe romney will give you a different answer. can't wait to watch it tomorrow, wolf. >> we'll see what he says tomorrow. >> we'll be watching. great job tonight. thank you. >> thanks, jessica. >> wolf blitzer in dubuque, iowa. more than 100 sears are kmart stores will be closing, due to disappointing holiday sales. what happen does this mean for shoppers? can we expect more closings from other chains, as well? for that, let's bring in cnn chief business correspondent allali vels velshi. this is not good news. >> not at all. but it is in this particular environment, it's highly specific to sears are kmart. as you know those two companies got together several years ago and they've had a rough year. look, it's been a tough year for retailers. i suspect this decision was made prior to thanksgiving but then they were looking at the thanks giving to christmas sales period and i think you know that's the most profitable sales period for companies. so the sense was that if
something were to turn for these companies they would probably announce that they weren't closing as many stores or closing stores at all. they've said 100 to 120 stores they haven't said where it's going to be. national sales figure for the holiday season compared to how sears and -- sears, which is kmart as well -- has done. sears and kmart down 5.2%. sears down more than kmart. the retail industry as a whole according to the national retail federation was looking rough, but it looked like it took a turn upward and looking to be 3.8%. compared to the same period last year. so you can see, compared to the retail industry as a whole, how poorly sears and kmart are doing. you're going to see 100 to 120 closures as soon as we know where they are, we'll let you know. the other issue is, of course, things have turned -- turned around in the holiday shopping season. a very, very strong black friday, looked like it was going to be great and then it fell off a cliff. here's what happened.
the stores saw it coming. so very, very steep disunts cco. good weather. people able to go out and shop. the holiday calendar was tricky, too, because the day after christmas now happened to be a monday which is easier when it's a sunday, people just don't go out to shop as much. consumer confidence, we just got numbers out this morning for the sixth straight month, they're higher. consumers, despite everything going on out there are actually feeling relatively good. that's probably because unemployment has been going down a little bit and we've had more job creation. >> all right. glad to get some good economic news. thank you, ali. heartbreaking is the only way to describe this next story. just look at these images. it's all that remains of what was once a family home in connecticut. burnt down in a christmas day blaze that killed three children and their grandparents. cnn's deborah feyrick has been following the tragic tale. today we got to hear the frantic
911 calls from the panicked neighbors. deb, this sounds so upsetting. >> it was horrible. five people did not make it out of that house, there were seven altogether, only two made it out alive and the towns mayor appropriately calling this tragedy catastrophic. >> reporter: as fire raced through the victorian home just before dawn christmas morning neighbors frantically called 911. >> what's the address. >> huge fire. the whole house is on fire. >> address, ma'am? >> we're at 2241 shippan avenue, it's the house next door. there's a major fire and there's three kids and a woman. >> reporter: trapped inside the connecticut home grand parents and their three granddaughters, 10-year-old lily, 7-year-old twins, grace and sarah. >> calling about a major, major fire with people in the house. >> we have the fire department on the way, ma'am. >> please, come quickly.
>> reporter: the house was under renovation. it appears fireplace embers placed in an outdoor trash enclosure near the home ignited the blaze. mom, madonna badger, managed to climb out on to scaffolding trantickly directing firefighters to the third floor where she said her children were sleeping. >> the crew pushed through two rooms unable to find the children. they were pushed back by the intense heat and flames. >> reporter: grabbing two of the frightened girls, family friend michael seen here on his facebook page, reached the second floor. >> the heat drove them to get separated and it looks like one went backup stairs and another one was found with the grandmother. >> reporter: grandfather lomer johnson spent christmas eve playing santa. he managed to leave one of his granddaughters to the back of the house and climb on to a roof and died before he could pull her to safety. >> just inside the window that he came out of we found one of
the young children. i guess there were a pile of books, looks like she was placed on the books. >> reporter: the mother, a successful marketing executive, is said to be in shock. she was taken from the scene, sobbing, my whole life is in that house. >> when you don't make that rescue that you failed -- and i don't think anybody wants to fail. >> reporter: investigators are continuing to search for answers but it does appear right now that there were no smoke detectors and no fire alarm system inside. >> thanks, deb, for that story. and more of wolf blitzer's exclusive interview with newt gingrich. plus you don't want to miss this. how one family's swimming pool turned into a burmese python's home sweet home. the amazing video ahead. stay with us. change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.?
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the iowa caucuses are one week away and tonight anyone in iowa 0 who turns on a television or radio is bound to see attack ads slamming newt gingrich. the form speaker is crying foul. here's more from wolf blitzer's eye popping interview. >> i don't know how much tv you've watched in iowa but if you watch commercials they are hitting you hard. >> look, i think they will have spent $5 million, $6 million, $7 million, most of it false, and the amazing thing to me we've held up as well as we have. now we'll come back this entire
jobs in economic growth tour is designed to counter the negativity. we always start out to be the top three or four, i think we're going to be in the top three or four. we could end up as number one. it's a very confusing field right now. >> it looks like you're lowering expectations a little which is understandable. >> a little bit. joining me now, democratic strategist, maria car don't na, rich galen and jennifer jacobs. rich, let me start with you. you know him best. you were mispress secretary one point, communications director for his political shop. did he help himself? the interview? >> i don't think so. i think it was classic newt. he went in and with one set of talking points thinking points of what he wanted to get accomplishe accomplished and wolf, who by the way, had one equal in these one-on-one interviews and that was tim russert. nobody does it better than him.
>> that's nice. >> but under the careful guidance of -- and fair questions -- newt completely got off message and started lashing out and that's the newt that they were trying to avoid. >> he did not intend to go negative? he intended to stay positive and got off track. >> his super pac goes out with ads tomorrow that are supposed to do the negative stuff so he could talk about jobs. >> maria, he said -- he acknowledged that he was trying to lower expectations. one point they thought it looked like he could win iowa. now he said if i come in third it's fine. >> yeah. i think he's got to do that now, jessica, i think he's seeing the writing on the wall. what was interesting is that when he was in the very back of the pack in the debates people were saying, look, maybe he's changed, maybe we're seeing a kinder, gentler newt, a lot of people, many who know him well, know there's an instinctive arrogance and mean spirit ittedness sometimes he can't
help himself and that's come out and that's happened since he surged to be a front-runner. poll numbers are going down. he clearly doesn't have the organization, we saw it what happened in virginia he doesn't are it in iowa. he has no choice but to sort of damp down the expectations. >> you say as the democrat in the group. let me turn to you, jennifer, because you know iowa better than almost certainly any of us but almost better than anyone. how you think the interview will play with iowa voters? >> well, i know that people -- the chatter in iowa that is they are calling out newt gingrich for going negative. they say if you're going to stay positive he would talk about his own vision, his own plans, his own record. so they think he's going negative. they're not letting him off the hook. but they're showing up to see him in dubuque today he had 200 people, second stop in iowa he had 150 peep. he's almost winning the crowd wars. here in davenport, mitt romney's got 350 to 400, so he's got
almost twice as many as gingrich. gingrich has far more than perry or bachmann or santorum. >> this is to you, jennifer, as well, took on ron paul aggressively as he did since he's been aiming his fire at mitt romney lately? >> lately? >> absolutely. people, i talked to a bunch of republicans at the mitt romney, vent in the lobby and i was getting reaction from them and it seemed like he was going on the defensive and he seemed desperate. they're saying it's a sign that he's worried for sure. >> what do you make, rich, that he went after ron paul the way he did? >> he can't help himself. this is what he does, but going back to the fact that he's drawing good crowds, that again, speaks to the lack of a campaign strategy if the crowds are good, why cut your schedule by half, why not double it and go to 88 places? >> is it possible he doesn't have the money?
>> he doesn't have enough money to go on the air, but he certainly has enough money to get there. >> we're here talking about him and right now he really doesn't have anything to lose and so maybe what his strategy was is to say something eye-popping who can make the case of the economics of what his vision is, then maybe he can get those undecideds and they're more than 50% and that's a lot. maybe this is something that could work for him. >> he's always been brilliant about getting media attention. >> jennifer, the gingrich versus romney battle, does that, in any way help other candidates? does that get -- turnoff voters to the other candidates? >> it is definitely a distraction. instead of focusing on a closing argument and newt gingrich is
having to defend himself and it's deaf fitly a distraction and yes, it will help those other candidates and rick santorum today had 100 people at one of his events and rick perry had 12 0. and i'm turned off by the negativity. each though negative ads work, iowans say they don't like it upon. >> this far out, one week to go? >> we're seeing rick santorum is moving up and seeing a decline for mechelle bachmann, her crowds were just tiny today. she had only 60 people and she was out in western iowa. rec santorum seems to be moving up. >> quick prediction. do you think newt gingrich places better than third in iowa? >> i think it will be better
than gingrich and santorum. >> for third? >> for third. >> i think ron paul can win this one. >> i think they'll have a poll on sunday, right? >> we'll get to see a week from tonight what happens. >> still ahead, thanks to all of you for being with us. thank you. still ahead, did santa bring you any weapons? if so, you're not alone. why so many people bought guns this christmas. >> plus, they were headed to twos court and now we're learning that arnold schwarzenegger and maria shriver are spending time together. new details about who might be having second thoughts when we come back. this new at&t 4g lte is fast. did you hear sam... ...got promoted to director? so 12 seconds ago. we should get him a present. thanks for the gift basket. you're welcome. you're welcome. did you see hr just sent out new... ...office rules? cause you're currently in violation of 6 of them. oh yeah, baby? ...and 7. did you guys hear that fred is leaving? so 30 seconds ago. [ noisemakers blow ] [ both ] we'll miss you! oh, facecake!
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welcome back. here's the latest news you need to know right now with lisa sill sister. >> hi there, jessica. it turns out holiday shoppers weren't just interested in electronics and toys this season, according to the fbi they also bought record numbers of guns, almost a half million background checks were conducted in the six days before christmas. the fbi didn't offer any theory on why the spike in gun sales, but the national rifle association tells cnn the figure shows more people feel they need guns for self-defense. in july they announced their 25-year marriage was over. well, now it looks like arnold schwarzenegger, maria shriver might be trying to patch things up. sources tell "people" magazine the two spent christmas together with their children and they attended the lakers season opener the same day.
shriver is re-thinking her decision to divorce the actor and former california governor. and a warning for the next time you take a swim in south florida. look before you plunge. check out this video here. 13-foot burmese python. it made its way into the home swimming pool. the fire rescue's unit captured the predator. after several attempts it seemed the snake didn't want to leave the pool. burmese poithones aren't native to floor, da, but they get really, really big. >> i almost feel like for people who are afraid of snakes there should have been a disclaimer. i'm sorry, folks, if you have a phobia of snakes. >> one more. one more story. >> we do have one more story. apparently this just in to cnn, rick perry went to court to get on the primary ballot. perry is challenging the
constitutionality of virginia's law that's keeping him off the ballot because he didn't get enough valid signatures and thanks for keeping me on top of it. it's late in the day. >> you can go to court to challenge that story. >> i think it was the snake story that threw me off my game. >> that was creepy. now for the moment you missed. you probably remember newt gingrich comparing his campaign's failure to get on virginia's primary ballot to the attack on pearl harbor. well, today in new hampshire, mitt romney suggested a different comparison. listen to this. >> you can compare that to pearl harbor. it's like lucille ball at the chocolate factory. you have to get it organized. >> ooh! and this is what romney was talking about. lucy on the chocolate factory assembly line having trouble keeping up with everything that needs to be done. one of the best episod